Edwards Triumphant In Nationwide Return
WATKINS GLEN, N.Y. – Carl Edwards returned to the NASCAR Nationwide Series and held off a furious charge from Brad Keselowski to win the Zippo 200 at The Glen Saturday afternoon at Watkins Glen Int’l.
Making his first Nationwide start of the 2012 season, Edwards spent most of the race chasing Keselowski. However, during a restart with 10 laps left Edwards used a power move on the outside to grab the lead for the first time.
Edwards and Keselowski continued to battle for the lead, with Keselowski finding his way back by with seven laps left, only for Edwards to retake the lead a few turns later.
However, Austin Dillon blew a tire after some late-race contact and dropped debris around the track, forcing NASCAR to wave the caution flag to set up a green-white-checkered restart.
Edwards got the jump on the restart, but Keselowski got enough momentum built up to get alongside Edwards coming out of the last turn as the field came to the white flag. Edwards was able to hold off Keselowski’s advance, pulling away on the final lap to score his 38th Nationwide victory.
“I hate to admit it, but I missed a downshift in turn six,” Edwards said when discussing his battle with Keselowski after the final restart. “He (Keselowski) was so fast through there all day, that was where he was beating me. I went in there extra hard and I got turned and I missed my downshift and he got next to me.
“He raced me really clean, I had a lot of fun racing him,” Edwards said. “It’s nice to be in victory lane.”
Keselowski ended up second after leading a race-high 43 laps.
“We did have one of the best cars today, if not the best,” Keselowski said. “I kind of feel like I gave away a win, but I’m banking nice guy points on that one. When the Chase comes, look out.”
Sam Hornish, Jr. finished third after starting from the pole. Defending series champion Ricky Stenhouse, Jr. finished fourth, with road racing expert Ron Fellows coming home in fifth.
Kyle Busch, Kasey Kahne, Paul Menard, Justin Allgaier and Brian Scott completed the top 10.